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The onset of blisters during an Ultra Trail is something quite common, especially beyond a certain race distance (>80km). The trail runners feet are subjected to continuous rubbing and friction, to sudden climatic changes, hot-cold, dry-wet, and inevitably they suffer from it.

There are two main aspects that can make a difference for the athlete:

  • prevention
  • immediate and correct treatment when the problem occurs.


The prevention consists of 3 fundamental steps:

  1. the skin of the foot must be carefully treated in time. Start 15-20 days before your competition by taking a foot bath every evening and applying a generous portion of zinc-based cream at the end. The best creams can be easily found in a pharmacy. Suspend the application of the cream 3 days before the race
  2. before the race apply elastic and water-resistant plasters on your feet areas most prone to blistering
  3. prepare an emergency kit to take with you, consisting of a needle and sewing thread, Betadine ampoule, Phytostimoline gauze, elastic patch.


When the blister is formed it is necessary to treat it immediately. Puncture the blister with the disinfected needle and leave a piece of thread inside to let the liquid out. Then, continue disinfecting the area with the Betadine and, finally, apply the Phytostimoline gauze and above it a resistant plaster. From time to time, you must continue to wash the foot, dry it and repeat the application for the duration of the competition.

Why you should not use a Compeed, or similar patch, during a race? The Compeed is a very valid product but it is less effective in situations of continuous movement and rubbing. If you use it during a race, once the blister has formed, continuing to run, the Compeed will prevent perspiration. The blister fluid will re-form under the patch, and as the hours pass, some pus mixed with serum will begin to form. When you will try to remove the Compeed your skin will come off leaving an open sore.

WOULD you like to find out more? Contact our Professionals:

blisters and ultra marathons, blisters treatment, consigli trail running, endurance, injury prevention, injury recovery techniques, running coaches, Tor des Geants, trail running advice, Trail Running Plans, trail running programs, training for tor des geants, ultra trail, UTMB

Cristina Tasselli

Digital Strategic Marketing Director - certified Innovation Manager - in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.